At iftar, Clinton voices condemnation for Koran burning plan
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Tuesday called a Florida pastor's plans to burn Korans on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks "disrespectful" and "disgraceful", dpa reported.
Clinton was speaking at an iftar, or the breaking of the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, hosted by the State Department.
"I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act, that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths, from evangelical Christians to Jewish rabbis as well as secular US leaders and opinion makers," Clinton said, noting that they were sitting down for the meal on a day when the media was reporting how pastor Terry Jones has planned an "International Burn a Koran Day" on Saturday.
An estimated 230 guests, including ambassadors, leaders from non- governmental organizations and 70 young American Muslim leaders, were invited for the iftar.
Ramadan is a time "when Muslims around the world fast and pray and strive to do good deeds. It's also a time for reflection and introspection, for charity and for compassion," Clinton said.
"So tonight, while we celebrate together let us consider how we can build broader and deeper bonds of mutual understanding, mutual respect and cooperation among people of all faiths in the year to come here at home and abroad."
Clinton said the resumption of face-to-face peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians last week showed how "progress always must be possible in spite of difficulty. And when there is a willingness to engage, to convey respect to those of differing views we can work toward reconciliation."